In a stable political environment since independence in 1968, Mauritius transformed itself from a low-income country dependent on sugar into an upper-middle-income country with growing wealth creation from financial services, tourism, and other service sectors (World Bank, 2017). But consistently strong economic growth in the 1990s and 2000s has slowed in recent years, reflected in a drop in gross domestic product growth from almost 8% in 2000 to 3.8% in 2016, fueling intense debate about whether Mauritius is caught in the “middle-income trap” (Economist Intelligence Unit, 2015; Financial Times, 2016).
Results of the latest Afrobarometer survey show a very mixed public outlook on life in Mauritius. Although more citizens than in 2014 describe their living conditions and their country’s economy as good, substantial proportions see the country as “going in the wrong direction” and economic conditions as bad and likely to get worse.
While economic issues dominate the list of Mauritians’ foremost concerns, they also see crime as a priority problem. Survey findings suggest that citizens feel somewhat less safe in their homes and neighbourhoods than they did in 2014, but that experience of crime remains low.